Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 9th 2016 Contents GAIL ALEXANDER
Members of the People s National Movement s
(PNM) Arouca-Maloney constituency haven t taken
any decision to "pull" their money out of First Cit-
izen s bank although they supported their MP
Camille Robinson-Regis, in her recent issues with
the bank, constituency chairman Akilo Charles
Charles commented on Monday after Prime Min-
ister Keith Rowley said recently he wasn t com-
fortable banking with First Citizens Bank following
complaints by Robinson-Regis about client con-
Robinson-Regis closed her First Citizens
accounts last week alleging there had been a
"breach of confidentiality" resulting in a query
from a media house about a cash deposit of
$93,000 which she made recently. It was alleged
she had not done the required source-of-funds
declaration at the time and did it afterwards.
She admitted she hadn t called the bank to
investigate the alleged "breach" but was "100
per cent" sure what occurred. She also admitted
it had slipped her that she, as politically exposed
person, was making a very large cash deposit
since she was worried about her husband s
Finance Minister Colm Imbert subsequent-
ly called for a report from bank on compliance
with financial obligation regulations. Last
week PNM Arouca-Maloney s youth league
issued a statement supporting their MP s
Contacted on whether the constituency
would emulate Robinson-Regis move with
the bank, following Rowley s view, Charles
said, "I can t say members want to pull out of
First Citizens as we haven t discussed it at con-
"It s a personal matter of the MP, her personal deci-
sion if she didn t feel like doing business there anymore.
We supported her in her decision, but haven t taken
any further decision. We have a meeting soon including
on matters concerning the MP and it may come up,
but I can t say there s any definite action to pull out
of the bank by members."
PNM general secretary Ashton Ford said no members
had informed him of closing their First Citizens accounts
either. Asked if he felt comfortable banking with FCB
or shared the leader s views, Ford said, "That s a private
matter between Mrs Robinson-Regis and the bank."
Pressed further, he replied, "...I have no comment
on that matter."
Imbert continued to maintain silence on a range of
questions T&T Guardian sent him on the issue, up to
Monday, including if he felt comfortable banking with
First Citizens, whether changes were in the offing at
First Citizens and the implications of PNM statements
regarding First Citizens on confidence levels about the
Former PNM Minister in Finance Mariano Browne
said if Robinson-Regis had made a mistake in "pulling
out" of First Citizens and publicly denouncing the
bank, causing lack of confidence in it and Imbert and
Rowley compounded it with subsequent action and
He said First Citizens in a sense "saved" Robinson-
Regis by insisting she does the required source-of-
funds declaration, because if it wasn t done, that would
have been recorded and it would have put the Gov-
ernment in a more negative light concerning lack of
compliance with law.
Former Energy Chamber presi-
dent Roger Packer said the country
is too dependent on the energy sec-
tor which has been the backbone of
the economy for the past 100 years
and it is high time that diversifica-
tion---which has been talked about
for over 50 years---became a reality.
However, Packer, who is the man-
aging director of Tucker Energy Serv-
ices, said in spite of the declining gas
and oil prices, there is still a great future
for young people in the energy sector
not only in Trinidad and Tobago but
around the globe.
Addressing a career guidance seminar
held at Naparima College titled, Careers
in a Challenging Economy, last Friday,
Packer said,"There is a future in our deep
water where we see companies like BHP
Billiton and BP are doing a lot of work.
There is a great future in what I call skilled
and tradesmen in the energy sector.
"Any corner of the world you go, you will
find Trinidadians who are doing very well.
So even if our resources are starting to plateau
or decline, our greatest and most valuable
assets in T&T is our human resources."
He encouraged the youths to "think outside
of the box" and choose a field where there
is a huge demand and a shortage of skills and
to also become entrepreneurial.
"Don t be afraid to go into small businesses
on your own," he told the students, but advised
to first work for big companies, acquire the skills
and experience before branching off on their
"You, young people, are the future of this
country. Think through carefully what your career
path is, love doing what you are going to do and
choose a field where there is a huge demand and
a shortage of skills and that would lead you to
making the right decision."
The seminar was organised by the Rotary Club
of San Fernando South, in collaboration with
RapidFire Kidz Foundation (RKF), and the Napari-
ma College Association of Past Students and
was geared for approximately 500 Form 3 students
representing schools in the Victoria Education
Chairman of the RKF s Career Guidance Fair
committee, Tisha Dowlath, said, "We were happy
to have a number of tertiary level educational
They informed the students about the various
programmes and courses of study that they offer.
We also had numerous professionals who
explained to the students what the academic
requirements to enter their respective fields were,
the period of study/training required, salary
ranges, and some of the advantages and disad-
vantages of the profession."
Dowlath said they intended to make it an
in oil, gas
Wednesday, March 9, 2016 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
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